GCB recap – 1×06-1×07: ‘Turn The Other Cheek,’ ‘Sex is Divine’

Courtesy of ABC

We get a double dose of GCB this week with two new episodes back to back. Looks like ABC is trying to see how our show will fare in the Desperate Housewives timeslot. But before we start to think about a second season, let’s focus on these new episodes. The two big themes of the evening are sex and marriage, and in good ole’ Christian tradition, the marriage comes before the sex.

Let’s discuss.

Both episodes continue to explore familiar storylines: Amanda (Leslie Bibb) and Gigi’s (Annie Potts) respective courtships with Luke (Eric Winter) and Burl (Bruce Boxleitner). On top of this, we’re introduced to two new ones: Cricket (Miriam Shor) and Blake (Mark Deklin) are having another baby, while Zach (Brad Beyer) and Sharron (Jennifer Aspen) are starting up a new biblical dieting company. Yeah, you read that last one right. Heather (Marisol Nichols) is, as usual, in the background, which, let’s face it, is a good thing. What is great about airing these two episodes back to back is the progression it gives us in the Amanda / Carlene (Kristin Chenoweth) relationship. Like any show centered around a rivalry there needs to be a middle ground, and it is great to see these two come together: unwillingly, but successfully. The rivalry allows the show to grow, and gives the show more to do in the future. But as as our spiritual guides tell us: let’s not look to the future just yet. Let’s be in the now. Time to focus in what’s happening on the inside.

Courtesy of ABC

Episode 6: Turn The Other Cheek
The first episode of the evening is by far the stronger of the two. This is probably due to the fact that it focuses on the 17th wedding anniversary of Carlene and Ripp (David James Elliott), or more specifically, more or less exclusively on the ladies. In a way this episode is like the evil stepsister to Bridesmaids, and the episode does right by all the ladies. It also gives us a better sense of what GCB is capable of (which if you’ve been reading my recaps is a good thing since thus far it’s been hit and miss).

‘Turn The Other Cheek’ has some of the funniest moments of the series so far. It, surprisingly enough, also gives Heather something to do. I actually enjoyed her in this episode! All the ladies show great chemistry with each other, as Amanda, Carlene and Sharon work/sabotage each other, while Heather and Cricket try to resolve some issues. Plus Amanda shot Carlene in the ass. Not sure how you can top that…oh wait, perhaps with the bridal shower present. Admittedly I could have done without the obvious (and old) Cheney jokes (shot in the butt…yeah, we get it) but that is a small gripe in an episode that finally delivers on the promise of the show (fun, frothy and above all, bitchy!). The show has a lot going on, but when it takes the time to focus on one storyline, it does it well and that really pays off.

Amanda, Carlene and Sharon have the most fun. Carlene extending the other cheek to Amanda; Amanda trying to impress Carlene for the sake of Luke, and Sharon sabotaging her every step of the way. The bridal shower fiasco is one of my favorites and immediately got me wondering where I could get my own…Moses figurine. Meanwhile, it’s fun to see Heather try to win over Cricket to get back in the group. Cricket, of course, makes it hard for her, but their scene in the forest is truly touching and beautiful.

Courtesy of ABC

Episode 7: Sex is Divine
Following the stand-out episode of the season thus far, ‘Sex Is Divine’ is more problematic. The episode centers around the pastor telling his coupled parishioners to get it on. You would think that an episode so heavily focused on sex would be titillating and fun, but unfortunately the episode feels bogged down and falls victim to the problems that plague this show.

First, the relationship between Gigi and Burl is a problem. I want to care about these two, especially about Gigi ’cause I love me some Annie Potts, but I am having the darndest time getting into this courtship. We all know Burl has heart problems, so why would Gigi seduce him and risk a heart attack? It just feels like another forced moment to give the show a funny bit. The problem is, it doesn’t feel funny. Instead it feels as old and stale as Newt Gringrich’s policies. Part of me wishes GCB could’ve spent more time on the relationship before this marriage proposal. We have only had one episode to really see these two together. Now I might be a “fast and easy” kinda boy, but I do have a romantic side and I want to see Gigi be romanced. I need to believe these two are crazy for each other.

In contrast, the relationship between Amanda and Luke is heating up and that’s something I do care about. The difference here is that the chemistry between these two is definitely HOT. And seeing the relationship progress beyond a single episode gives us insight into the characters (Now why couldn’t they have done this with Gigi??)

Courtesy of ABC

The best part of the episode, like most episodes of this show, features Blake and Cricket. These two are definitely killing it for me week after week. Not only do they balance humor and drama well, but they also have great chemistry. This week their storyline is interesting and original. The scenes where they try to have sex run the gamut from funny to touching. Having them take an “ecstasy”-like pill to have sex is so brilliant and by far the funniest moment of this series so far. They are definitely the Brad and Jane* of this series.

*See my Happy Endings recaps for details.

Sharron and Zach also have some great tender moments throughout the episode – at least when they’re not engaged in heated sexual relations (brought on by the pastor and a certain movie called “Romancing the Bone”). While their dealership might be going out of business, their new venture, “Losing it With Jesus,” just might save the day.

And then there is Heather. She’s in the episode somewhere….doing something…I think. Oh let’s face it, who cares what Heather is up to! Without the others to prop her up, her storylines are barely worth addressing, so let’s just wrap it up!

Best lines of the night:

  • Carlene: “At least you’re using your boobies for good, and not evil.”
  • Heather: “Here, Crick, I got you a glass of bubbly.” Cricket (in response): “This isn’t 52 degrees.”
  • Carlene: “We can’t all be mighty hunters before the Lord. For some odd reason God made vegetarians, too.”
  • Sharon: “The Holy Land was filled with high fiber and low carbs, but we have to be careful of New Testament entrees.”
  • Cricket: “If this is what it takes for pandas to hump, no wonder they’re almost extinct.”
  • Cricket: “I NEED TO DRINK THE GULF OF MEXICO!”
  • Bozeman: “I’ll just go wait with the other STDs.”
  • McKineey: “Do all whores wear couture?”

What did you all think? Did you enjoy the hilarious marriage episode as much as I did? Is anyone else wondering what’s up with Heather? Is the romance between Gigi and Burl interesting to anyone? Talk it out below

GCB airs Sundays at 10pm EST on ABC

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